An episode of the Classic TV series "Life with Elizabeth", starring Betty White. This series aired from 1952 to 1955.
August 22, 2014
Life with Elizabeth was a typical 1950s sitcom created by George Tibbles. The sitcom focused on an ordinary, white married couple living in the suburbs. The show featured Elizabeth, played by Betty White, and her husband Alvin, played by Del Moore, as they get into comical predicaments. The episodes begin as the on-camera narrator and announcer Jack Narz provides context for the interaction between Elizabeth and Alvin. He even directly speaks to the characters and asks what they are doing in order to lead into the episode. The characters never speak back to the narrator, but rather communicate by way of gestures and facial expressions. From here the interactions between the actors commences. Elizabeth often makes witty remarks and amusing puns throughout each episode. The episode is segmented into three brief “incidents” lasting between eight and ten minutes each. These incidents are completely unrelated and involve different scenes and situations. Finally, each episode concludes when Alvin says,” I shall leave you at this point, Elizabeth". Alvin then walks off set and the narrator asks, “Elizabeth, aren’t you ashamed?” . Elizabeth always nods slightly, then shakes her head while smiling mischievously. In this way, the narrator frames each episode by first contextualizing the episode and then ending the program with this classic line.
Life with Elizabeth was adapted from a live show on KTLA-TV that achieved much success and popularity. It aired in first-run syndication from October 7th, 1953 to September 1st, 1955. The thirty minute episodes were aired on WABC on Sunday nights at 7:00 p.m. The episodes were filmed in front of a live audience in Los Angeles by cinematographer Mack Stengler. Life with Elizabeth was written by George Tibbles (the creator) and Milt Kahn. George Tibbles also co-produced the show along with Betty White, Don Fedderson, and Cal Reed. Duke Goldstone directed program while Robert Oberbeck edited the film. The show was sponsored by Piel’s Beer.
Life with Elizabeth was popular among its target audience: the middle class, white patriarchal family living in the suburbs. It competed against other sitcoms such as My Little Margie and the very popular I Love Lucy. All conflicts are trivial and are resolved with the abruptness typical of sitcoms. The show lacked any adult themes and never broached social or political issues. Because of this, the show was considered wholesome and suitable for the whole family to watch. Despite its success with this audience, however, the program only aired for two seasons and a total of sixty-five episodes. The show was canceled after only two seasons because Guild Films, the distributing company, feared that too many episodes of the program was flood the secondary markets for the syndication and reduce future profit. The syndications of this show were sold multiple times and yielded somewhat considerable profit.
November 18, 2010
So very nice to find this at Archive.org
One of my favorite shows, Betty White is a true artist, then as now. She can always make me laugh. I got to know Del Moore when he had the "Late Late Show," on KTTV chanel 11 in Hollywood at night, then he would go to work for radio station KMPC in the morning, one hard worker, and a very nice person. This show is like a tonic for laughter, so if you want a good laugh, at least play this.